ページの画像
PDF
ePub

O had I the wings of a dove,

How soon would I taste you again! My sorrows I then might assuage

In the ways of religion and truth ; Might learn from the wisdom of age,

And be cheered by the sallies of youth.

Religion ! what treasure untold

Resides in that heavenly word !
More precious than silver and gold,

Or all that this earth can afford !
But the sound of the church-going bell

These valleys and rocks never heard, Never sigh'd at the sound of a knell,

Or smild when a sabbath appear'd !

Ye winds, that have made me your sport,

Convey to this desolate shore Some cordial endearing report

Of a land I shall visit no more! My friends,—do they now and then send

A wish or a thought after me ?Oh tell me I yet have a friend,

Though a friend I am never to see!

How fleet is a glance of the mind !

Compar'd with the speed of its flight, The tempest itself lags behind,

And the swift-winged arrows of light!

When I think of my own native land

In a moment I seem to be there;
But, alas ! recollection at hand

Soon hurries me back to despair !

But the sea-fowl is gone to her nest,

The beast is laid down in his lair ;
Even here is a season of rest,

And I to my cabin repair.
There's mercy in every place ;

And mercy, encouraging thought !
Gives even affliction a grace,

And reconciles man to his lot.

REV. GEORGE CRABBE.

BORN 1754.
DIED 1832.

The

PRINCIPAL WRITINGS:- The Village; The Parish Register;

Borough; Tales in Verse; Tales of the Hall.

Au English Peasant.

(From The Parish Register.”)

To pomp and pageantry in nought allied,
A noble peasant, Isaac Ashford, died.
Noble he was, contemning all things mean,
His truth unquestion'd, and his soul serene :

Of no man's presence Isaac felt afraid,
At no man's question Isaac look'd dismay'd:
Shame knew him not, he dreaded no disgrace ;
Truth, simple truth, was written in his face ;
Yet while the serious thought his soul approved,
Cheerful he seem'd, and gentleness he loved :
To bliss domestic he his heart resign'd,
And with the firmest had the fondest mind.

I mark'd his action, when his infant died,
And his old neighbour for offence was tried :
The still tears, trickling down that furrow'd cheek,
Spoke pity, plainer than the tongue can speak.

If pride were his, 'twas not their vulgar pride Who, in their base contempt, the great deride : Nor pride in learning—though my clerk agreed, If fate should call him, Ashford might succeed ;Nor pride in rustic skill, although he knew None his superior, and his equals few :But if that spirit in his soul had place, It was the jealous pride that shuns disgrace; A pride in honest fame, by virtue gain'd; In sturdy boys to virtuous labours train'd; Pride, in the power that guards his country's coast, And all that Englishmen enjoy and boast; Pride, in a life that slander's tongue defied; In fact a noble passion, mis-named pride.

I feel his absence in the hours of prayer, And view his seat, and sigh for Isaac there ;

I see no more those white locks, thinly spread
Round the bald polish of that honour'd head;
No more that awful glance on playful wight,
Compelld to kneel and tremble at the sight,
To fold his fingers, all in dread the while,
Till Mister Ashford soften’d to a smile ;
No more that meek and suppliant look in prayer,
Nor the pure faith (to give it force) are there :
But he is bless'd, and I lament no more,
A wise good man, contented to be poor.

J. CUNNINGHAM.

The Fox and the

at.

(HE fox and the cat, as they travelled one day, With moral discourses cut shorter the way; “ 'Tis great,” says the fox, “ to make justice our

guide !" " How god-like is mercy !” Grimalkin replied.

Whilst thus they proceeded, a wolf from the wood, Impatient of hunger, and thirsting for blood, Rushed forth—as he saw the dull shepherd asleepAnd seized for his supper an innocent sheep.

“ In vain, wretched victim, for mercy you bleat ; When mutton's at hand,” says the wolf," I musteat," Grimalkin's astonished—the fox stood aghast, To see the fell beast at his bloody repast. 66 What a wretch !” says the cat—"'tis the

vilest of brutes ; Does he feed upon flesh when there's herbage and

roots ?” Cries the fox, “ While our oaks give us acords so

good, What a tyrant is this, to spill innocent blood !”

Well, onward they marched, and they moralised still, Till they came where some poultry picked.chaff

by a mill. Sly Reynard surveyed them with gluttonous eyes, And made, spite of morals, a pullet his prize! A mouse, too, that chanced from her covert to stray, The greedy Grimalkin secured as her prey ! A spider that sat in her web on the wall, Perceived the poor victims, and pitied their fall : She cried, “Of such murders how guiltless am I!” So ran to regale on a new-taken fly!

[graphic]
« 前へ次へ »